A VETERAN musician has spoken of his fear as he fled a holiday terror in crisis-torn Tunisia.
Drummer Colin Dack, 70, felt like he had walked into the middle of a “war” after civil unrest broke out in the North African country.
Dozens of people have died following riots about rising unemployment and alleged government corruption.
But Mr Dack, of Newlands Drive, Stanley, knew nothing of the political situation when he booked a late deal last week to the beach resort of Hammamet. He even packed his combat fatigues, which he wears for walking.
The well-known drummer, who has worked with the likes of singing star Jane McDonald and played for many years at Crigglestone Working Men’s Club, said: “On Thursday morning I decided to have a walk into Hammamet. The tension was unbelievable. There were young guys standing in groups and the supermarket was being looted. I felt there was going to be a war.”
Unwittingly he had dressed in light-weight military-style clothes and was frightened he might have been mistaken as a member of the Tunisian security forces.
He made his way through the streets and saw shops being shuttered, locals panic buying and police armed with machine guns.
And when he got back to his hotel he and other guests were placed under curfew.
Worried holidaymakers checked media reports about the country’s president fleeing, soaring food prices and of people taking the law into their own hands. Some tourists were left frightened.
And at 2am on Friday Mr Dack got a call from reception telling him to pack his bags and to be ready to leave in the morning. During the long trip back to Monastir airport Mr Dack saw mass demonstrations and “loads of police and armed personnel”.
Later the airport filled up with hundreds of people and Mr Dack said some of the passengers on his plane cheered when it took off back to Manchester.
He added: “I’m really pleased to be back on British soil.”